The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

ZIMBABWE: Opposition Politicians Appeal To U.N., U.S.; Annan Issues Appeal
By Angela Stephens, UN Wire

WASHINGTON -- Opposition politicians and activists from Zimbabwe wrapped up
a weeklong trip to New York and Washington yesterday after calling on the
United Nations to strengthen its hand in humanitarian operations and on the
international community in general to respond more forcefully to the
country's severe food crisis. In an appeal issued yesterday on the southern
Africa food crisis, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was especially
concerned about Zimbabwe, where nearly 7 million people will soon need food
aid.

Zimbabwe Shadow Foreign Minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu and Shadow Justice
Minister David Coltart, both members of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, said they embarked on this trip to draw attention to the
economic and humanitarian emergency confronting Zimbabwe's 12.5 million
people, who face soaring food prices, inflation projected by the
International Monetary Fund to reach 522 percent next year and land reform
that has uprooted thousands of farm workers and left many jobless.

The trip coincided with a particularly tense time for the opposition in
Zimbabwe. Opposition party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Shadow Agriculture
Minister Renson Gasela and party Secretary General Welshman Ncube were
scheduled Monday to go on trial for treason, accused of plotting to
assassinate President Robert Mugabe. The charges were made in February, two
weeks before Tsvangirai challenged Mugabe for the presidency, which Mugabe
won in an election that was widely discredited by international observers.
The judge of the treason trial granted postponement of the case until
February at the request of defense counsel, which said the government failed
to give the defense a copy of a tape on which Tsvangirai is alleged to have
spoken of a plan to kill Mugabe. The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe has
said the tape appeared to be doctored and accused the government-controlled
press of "one-sided, hysterical coverage" of the issue.

Opposition leaders claim that these charges and others against opposition
members, including an allegation that Coltart discharged a firearm in
public, are bogus. Tsvangirai and the two others accused of treason are not
allowed to travel due to the charges against them. Their passports have
been confiscated.

Mzila-Ndlovu and Coltart met last Friday with U.N. Undersecretary General
for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast. "Our biggest concern is that the
food that is being brought into the country by the World Food Program is
being hijacked by the ruling party to be funneled toward its own
supporters," Mzila-Ndlovu told UN Wire. "We think that the ruling party is
using the United Nations food to strengthen its stranglehold on the
population."

Zimbabwe is one of six southern African nations facing a major food crisis,
due in part to a regional drought but also, according to the United Nations,
to bad government policies -- in Zimbabwe's case, land reform. The
government for the past two years has implemented a "fast-track" land reform
program intended to redistribute land from wealthy white landowners to
landless blacks. Human Rights Watch said in a report on the program in
March that the program "has led to serious human rights violations" and that
its "implementation also raises serious doubts as to the extent to which it
has benefited the landless poor."

Recipients of land have included Mugabe's wife, Grace, who two months ago
reportedly hand-picked a 2,500-acre lot called Iron Mask Estates. There
have been many other reports of land going to Mugabe's relatives and
supporters. In August, 3,000 white farmers faced a government-imposed
deadline to vacate their land. Some defied the order, but many gave up,
electing to go to neighboring countries or even further abroad, and taking
their farming knowledge with them. Many of the black workers they employed
were driven off the land they worked.

The country's agricultural sector, as a result of these policies, has
collapsed, Mzila-Ndlovu said. Much of the land in agriculturally rich
Zimbabwe, which was once a food exporter, now lies fallow. The World Food
Program earlier this year estimated that nearly half of Zimbabwe's
population would need food aid through the 2003 harvest.

Last month, the World Food Program announced it was suspending food aid in a
district of Zimbabwe's Matabeleland South province after militiamen stole 3
metric tons of grain and used it to feed supporters of Mugabe's party,
ZANU-PF. The WFP said the food was "distributed in an unauthorized manner"
and that staff of a local partner nongovernmental organization, the
Organization of Rural Associations for Progress, were "intimidated."
Mzila-Mdlovu said the food was used directly to manipulate voters in the
district during a by-election.

In his appeal yesterday, Annan cited "continuing reports of politicization
in food distribution and humanitarian assistance in general" and said he
"fully supports the zero-tolerance policy on the politicization of food
distribution established by the World Food Program." Annan appealed to the
government to "hold to its commitment to ensure that political stakeholders
do not affect food aid efforts within the country" and added that "the
international community must be vigilant in ensuring that relief is made
quickly to the people in Zimbabwe."

Zimbabwe's mission to the United Nations and the Zimbabwe Embassy in
Washington, asked by UN Wire to comment, did not return telephone calls
today.

On Tuesday, the opposition lawmakers met with Assistant U.S. Secretary of
State for Africa Walter Kansteiner. The United States has been highly
critical of Zimbabwe's policies. Washington has accused the government of
withholding food from people who support the opposition, as have the Danish
Doctors for Human Rights.

"As the largest contributor of food aid to the WFP, the United States itself
is in a position to influence the decision of the United Nations to have a
greater say in the distribution of food," Mzila-Mdlovu said. "We think that
they should be able to communicate with the U.N. ... to say, 'Can you
strengthen your hand in Zimbabwe, so that we avert this impending
catastrophe?'"

"We are looking at something in the region of 700,000 people who are going
to perish" early next year, Mzila-Mdlovu said, before the next harvest. He
said there should be international oversight to ensure that food aid is
reaching the people it is intended for.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Guardian

U.K. Foreign Secretary Angers Critics

Friday November 15, 2002 3:20 PM


LONDON (AP) - Foreign Secretary Jack Straw angered political opponents by
laying some of the blame for current world crises - including those in Iraq
and Zimbabwe - on the legacy of British imperialism.

``A lot of the problems that we are having to deal with now - I have to deal
with now - are a consequence of our colonial past,'' Straw said in an
interview published in the New Statesman magazine Friday.

Members of the main opposition Conservative Party accused Straw of yielding
to ``old fashioned left-wing guilt'' and undermining British foreign policy,
particularly in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe has justified his
campaign against white farmers as a way of righting the wrongs of
colonialism.

But Prime Minister Tony Blair's Downing Street office said Straw's remarks
are ``a sensible statement of history.''

In the interview, Straw questioned the idea of ``liberal imperialism,'' a
term used by Blair's foreign policy adviser Robert Cooper to describe recent
military interventions in Kosovo and Sierra Leone.

``I didn't agree with that stuff. I'm not a liberal imperialist... . There's
a lot wrong with imperialism,'' Straw said.

``India-Pakistan - we made some quite serious mistakes,'' he said, referring
to British rule until 1947, when the two countries were partitioned.

In Kashmir, which is claimed by both India and Pakistan, he said, ``We were
complacent...the boundaries weren't published until two days after
independence. Bad story for us. The consequences are still there.''

In Afghanistan, he added, Britain ``played less than a glorious role over a
century and a half.''

And in the Middle East, ``the odd lines for Iraq's borders were drawn by
Brits. The Balfour declaration and the contradictory assurances which were
being given to Palestinians in private at the same time as they were being
given to the Israelis - again, an interesting history but not an honorable
one.''

In Zimbabwe, Straw said, there was a need to redistribute land after the
country gained independence in 1980.

Straw said he had ``huge arguments'' with Robert Mugabe over the need for
democracy and good governance.

``However, when any Zimbabwean, any African, says to me land is a key issue.
. . the early colonizers were all about taking land,'' he said.

Opposition Conservative Party foreign affairs spokesman Michael Ancram said
Straw's remarks showed the government is ``frightened of the shadow of our
colonial past and has not realized that the world has moved on. We have to
treat problems as we find them, and not on the history of how they arose.''

Ancram said Straw's comments on Zimbabwe ``gives encouragement to Mugabe to
go on accusing the British government of neocolonialism because he believes
it stops the government from taking action that puts real pressure on him.

``What strikes me about this article is it shows no overall vision of what
he is trying to achieve. It's old fashioned left-wing guilt.''

The right-wing Daily Telegraph newspaper said it ``cannot imagine Colin
Powell, the American Secretary of State, indulging in such maundering
self-hatred, particularly as the United States, backed by Britain, prepares
for a possible war on Iraq.

``It weakens Britain's position internationally. It undermines soldiers who
may be about to risk their lives for what they - at least - believe to be
right,'' the paper said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

BBC

Friday, 15 November, 2002, 17:11 GMT

British Empire blamed for modern conflicts


The UK Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, has blamed Britain's imperial past
for many of the modern political problems, including the Arab-Israeli
conflict and the Kashmir dispute.
"A lot of the problems we are having to deal with now - I have to deal with
now - are a consequence of our colonial past," he said.
In an interview with a British magazine, the New Statesman, Mr Straw spoke
of quite serious mistakes made, especially during the last decades of the
empire.
He said the Balfour Declaration of 1917 - in which Britain pledged support
for a Jewish homeland in Palestine - and the contradictory assurances given
to Palestinians, were not entirely honourable.
"The Balfour declaration and the contradictory assurances which were being
given to Palestinians in private at the same time as they were being given
to the Israelis - again, an interesting history for us, but not an
honourable one," he said.

Mr Straw acknowledged "some quite serious mistakes" in India and Pakistan,
jewels of the British empire before their 1947 independence, as well as
Britain's "less than glorious role" in Afghanistan.
'Odd' borders
Mr Straw blamed many territorial disputes on the illogical borders created
by colonial powers.
He mentioned Iraq, the region which was governed by Britain under the
mandate of the League of Nations after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in
World War I.
"The odd lines for Iraq's borders were drawn by Brits," he said.
And he said the British Government had been complacent about Kashmir at the
time of Indian independence, when it quickly became the most contentious
issue between India and Pakistan.
'Sensible statement'
This is not the first time Mr Straw has made controversial remarks about
British history.
In the past he has blamed the English of oppressing the Scots, the Irish and
the Welsh.



Members of the main opposition Conservative Party accused Mr Straw of
undermining British foreign policy, particularly in Zimbabwe, where
President Robert Mugabe has justified his campaign against white farmers as
a way of righting the wrongs of colonialism.
But Downing Street said Mr Straw's remarks were "a sensible statement of
history".
Unusual
BBC's Diplomatic correspondent Barnaby Mason says that Mr Straw's critical
remarks about British colonialism would be unsurprising coming from
virtually anyone else.
Such views have been commonplace across the world and among left-wingers in
Britain.
Our correspondent said 30 years ago, Mr Straw used to be an outspoken left
winger himself.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

BBC

Friday, 15 November, 2002, 16:33 GMT
Africa Media Watch


A number of South African papers were less than impressed with the outcome of this week's talks in Pretoria between Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and her Zimbabwean counterpart, Stan Mudenge.

Following the talks, the South African foreign minister urged the international community to help Zimbabwe tackle its economic and political crisis, saying: "Even if Zimbabwe made a mistake, the point is that we need to move to the future".



The sad fact is that Mugabe is going to get away with murder

Business Day
'Endorsing brutality'

For Johannesburg's Business Day the sight of a "smiling" Mr Mudenge towering over his "delighted" South African host proved too much.

"Here is the foreign minister of the most powerful economy in Africa... fundamentally endorsing the brutality, corruption and sheer avarice that has marked Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's efforts to cling to power," it said.

According to the paper, Ms Dlamini-Zuma's "desire to 'look forward' expressly ignores the ugliness of what has happened in Zimbabwe".

"The sad fact is that with our help - dithering solidarity at the start and panic at the end - Mugabe is going to get away with murder," Business Day said.

Linked interests

Writing in the same paper, commentator Samuels Norwood ironically observed how lucky Mr Mugabe was in his neighbours.



Any chaos in Zimbabwe is likely to affect South Africa

Star
"How very cute. Following the Zimbabwe-South Africa ministerial meeting...[ruling] African National Congress (ANC) comrades have joined Mugabe in demanding that Britain compensate Zimbabwe's dispossessed white farmers... Mugabe can thank his lucky stars he has such good friends south of his border," he wrote.

An editorial in South Africa's Star took a somewhat different line, hoping for what it called light at the end of the tunnel.

South African government officials "continue to hope against the odds that somehow Mugabe and his ministers will finally realise that they are on a path to self-destruction," the paper said.

"South Africa's economic interests are directly and indirectly linked to developments in Zimbabwe, and any chaos there is likely to affect South Africa."

"So when Harare says the farm seizures will no longer happen and calls on South Africa to help distribute relief to drought-stricken communities, these words are sweet music to Dlamini-Zuma's ears," the editorial said.

'Squandered' legacy



South Africans are understandably exercised by Dlamini-Zuma's latest cosying up to her Zimbabwe counterpart

The Citizen
An article in Johannesburg's The Citizen accused the government of "squandering this country's most precious legacy: the international stature and moral authority bequeathed by Nelson Mandela's too brief rule".

Besides objecting to the stance on Zimbabwe, the writer took umbrage at South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad's recent visit to Baghdad.

"Nkosazana's fawning over Mugabe's henchmen is as nauseating as Aziz's infatuation with Saddam Hussein."

"South Africans are understandably exercised by Dlamini-Zuma's latest cosying up to her Zimbabwe counterpart Stan Mudenge. The prospect of again bailing [Mugabe] out with fuel supplies is outrageous," the article said.

Economic 'contagion'

In Zimbabwe itself, pro-government The Herald saw the talks as consolidating relations between the two countries and "thwarting moves by the West to put a wedge between Harare and Pretoria".


Mr Mudenge's visit caused controversy

But Harare's privately-owned Daily News expressed anger at the South African stance.

"Dlamini-Zuma's appeal to the international community to come to the aid of Zimbabwe may be brimming with sincerity, but it doesn't seem to take account of how much resentment towards South Africa her government's futile quiet diplomacy has built up among ordinary Zimbabweans," it said.

"By any political calculations, if South Africa had blended its quiet diplomacy with a tough reminder to Mugabe that he was ruining his country just to stay in power, there could have been far less chaos than there is today. Moreover, many lives would have been saved."

The chances that Mr Mugabe would now agree "to mend his ways and correct his errors" depended on "how determined South Africa and the other members of the Southern African Development Community are to prevent the economic contagion of Mugabe's blunders from developing into a terminal illness in the region".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

15 Nov 2002 16:04
Zimbabwe, Zambia food crisis seen dragging on -WFP

--------------------------------------------------------------------------


By Manoah Esipisu

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Acute food shortages are likely to
persist beyond next year for millions of people in Zimbabwe and Zambia, the
World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday. Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi are
at the centre of a hunger crisis threatening 14.4 million people in six
southern African countries. Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland are also
facing severe food shortages.

The region is suffering its worst drought in a decade, but analysts
and aid agencies also point to man-made factors such as controversial land
reforms in Zimbabwe.

In Zambia, a government ban on gene-altered maize, most of donated by
the United States, has complicated efforts to feed about three million
people in need.

"We are going to be here this time next year," Richard Ragan, the WFP
representative in Zambia told reporters in Johannesburg, predicting more
appeals for aid.

He said bad weather and a shortage of seeds and fertilisers meant
Zambian farmers would be unable to produce enough grains to meet their
domestic needs in 2003.

The WFP plans to move about 18,000 tonnes of food -- 7,500 tonnes of
it milled -- mainly to Zimbabwe and Malawi after Zambia refused to have it
distributed to its people, Ragan said.

In Zimbabwe, where nearly half of the country's 14 million people need
food aid, President Robert Mugabe's government has been accused by
opposition and civic groups of politicising food distribution.

On Thursday, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed "grave
concern about the humanitarian crisis" there and urged the international
community to keep on providing assistance.

Annan appealed to the Zimbabwean government to hold to its commitment
to ensure that politics would not affect food aid efforts within the
country.

Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party has denied using food as a political
weapon and accused some aid agencies of sending more food relief to
opposition strongholds.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Daily News - Feature

The real story of Zimbabwe is a sorry tale

11/15/02 9:41:36 AM (GMT +2)


By Archbishop Pius Ncube

I COME to you today to appeal to you for prayers to ease our most
serious situation in Zimbabwe and to appeal to you to lobby by all means
possible for a peaceful solution to the Zimbabwean crisis.



We face an absolutely desperate situation in Zimbabwe and the
government is lying to the world about it. Our government continues to
engage in lies, propaganda, the twisting of facts, half-truths, downright
untruths and gross misinformation, because they are fascists. My
understanding of Christ and of the Church makes me believe that Christ is a
prophet, a priest and a shepherd.
King As a prophet, He is a teacher to all nations and a carrier of God
's word. He stands against sin, falsehood and injustice; and we are tasked
to do the same.

As a priest, He is self-sacrificing and offering His life for others.
He is prayerful, holy and God-centred. The Church is called to the same
posture. As a shepherd, He defends the poor, the marginalised and the
minorities. Jesus calls the Church to do the same, to uproot sin and
oppression. Reading Luke 4:17-19; Matthew 6:33; Luke 17:20-21. As Christians
and as the Church, we are not called to go along with society. Rather, we
are called to preach the values of the Kingdom of God, namely love,
holiness, humility, respect for others, and their property, peace,
non-violence; to feel for others, to be gentle, compassionate,
understanding; to be sincere, to be truthful, to be human, to be integrated,
to be whole.

To put people first before things, to be God-centred, to forgive, to
be self-controlled, to be prayerful, to heal, to sacrifice ourselves for
others; not to take advantage of others, to suffer for the truth; to judge
ourselves before we judge others, to be joyful; to be the salt and the light
of the world; to respect the poor, to be renewed with God's vision (to be
born from above John 3:5), to be motivated by the Holy Spirit to be free and
to free others (John 8:36) and to be full of hope.

The Political Situation Politically, Zimbabwe gained independence 22
years ago, and for the first decade things worked well, although between
1983 and 1987, Robert Mugabe, deliberately and with malice aforethought,
killed up to 20 000 innocent civilians in revenge for the fact that in wars
against the Shona in the 19th century, before the arrival of the colonisers,
the Ndebele killed, looted and took wives from the Shona, and in more recent
times, followed a different political path from him and his party.

There was then an economic boom and unemployment was down to about 15
percent; Mugabe was Prime Minister, he attended Parliament and was
sympathetic to the poor. The government spent a great deal of money to
develop the people. Unhappily, everything changed politically three years
ago. In 1999, Mugabe wanted to impose a new constitution on the country. To
this end, he appointed the whole of Parliament and about 400 others to
discover what the people would want in a new constitution.

The people responded well: they wanted a maximum of two terms for the
President; they wanted to limit the presidential powers and they wanted a
Senate, or Upper House. When the draft constitution was drawn up by the
Mugabe supporters, these demands were ignored and the new proposals gave
even greater powers to the President. A referendum was held in February 2000
and the proposals were rejected. This was the first time the electorate had
voted against Mugabe and his party. In the referendum it was clear that the
white voters also rejected the new proposals. The result enraged Mugabe and
almost immediately the violence began.

Some nine months earlier, a new political party had been formed, the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and Mugabe saw in the referendum
results an alliance between the whites and the MDC. He also foresaw that he
was in danger of losing power to this new party in the election which was
due in 2000. He reacted wildly to the defeat, called together his central
committee and the politburo and plans were made for the invasion of
commercial farms by the so-called war veterans, of whom perhaps only
one-third were genuine veterans of the liberation war, as some were too
young even to have been alive during that war.

To briefly explain the land situation in Zimbabwe, I must say that the
white commercial farmers had owned much of the productive land in the
country and by 2000 there were approximately 4 500 white farmers on that
land. Land reform was clearly needed, but government efforts to redistribute
land failed in the early 80s and the land question was put onto the
government backburner. The government now brought it back into focus as it
was the only card it had left to play.

The first invasions took over about 1 500 farms, reducing production
there to almost nothing. As time has passed all, except about 600 farms,
have been occupied. The Constitution was amended by Presidential decree and
various laws changed to allow this all to happen, but the invasions were to
serve as the jumping-off point for grave violence to be perpetrated in the
rural areas by these war veterans and other party members in the run-up to
the parliamentary election in 2000 and the presidential election in 2002.

Before the parliamentary election 60 people were murdered, some in the
most gruesome fashion, many people were abducted and tortured, some simply
disappeared. At the election Zanu PF gained 62 seats, the MDC 57 and another
party one. The election was declared not free and fair by the independent
monitors for a variety of reasons and the MDC brought court challenges in 37
constituencies, to no avail. In any case Mugabe has the gift of 30 seats in
Parliament, being 10 traditional chiefs, 8 provincial governors and 12
non-constituency MPs, all of whom are Mugabe supporters.

This result gave Zanu PF a majority in Parliament, but not the
two-thirds required to change the Constitution. So, whenever a by-election
is called after the death of an MP, the polls are rigged to ensure a Mugabe
victory. Mugabe is using the food crisis in Zimbabwe to force people to vote
for his party, indeed every means to ensure victory is used, from bussing
people in from other constituencies to using seriously bad arithmetic in the
counting of votes. Before the presidential elections, the Gallop poll
indicated that the incumbent would gain no more than 45 percent of the vote
and that the opposition candidate would receive 55 percent.

In the event those figures were reversed.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Daily News


Minister widens tax threshold

11/15/02 9:23:17 AM (GMT +2)


By Chris Mhike Business Reporter

THE income tax threshold for individuals, will be increased in the
2003 fiscal year, from the current $90 000 to $180 000, widening the
population of non-taxed Zimbabweans, said Herbert Murerwa, the Minister of
Finance and Economic Development.

This means that Zimbabweans earning less than $180 000 a year would,
with effect from 1 January next year, be exempt from income tax.

Taxpayers would continue to be taxed at rates between 30 percent and
45 percent of total income, excluding the aids levy.

Tax bands would be widened to end at $1,5 million, above which
individual incomes would attract a tax of 45 percent.

Tax-free pension contributions would be increased from $45 000 to $90
000.

Presenting the $770,2 billion 2003 national Budget before Parliament
yesterday, Murerwa said the tax bracket adjustments reflected government's
plan to increase disposable incomes.

Murerwa said: "The consequences of this measure is that a significant
number of taxpayers will be released from the tax net, and disposable
incomes will be enhanced."

Employees were also set to benefit from the upward revision of limits
for exemptions on bonuses. The non-taxable portion of bonus rose from $10
000 to $20 000. Murerwa said as a result the fiscus would lose $3,55 billion
in uncollected taxes.

Tax credits extended to the elderly, the blind and disabled taxpayers
have also been adjusted upwards.

The tax credits for the elderly stand at $12 000, with the blind and
disabled at $7 500. With effect from 1 January next year, credits for all
three special taxpayer categories would enjoy a tax credit for any amounts
up to $20 000.

The lower threshold for the non-taxable portion of pension
commutation, that is packages paid upon retirement, has been raised.

Currently pegged at $60 000, or one third of the amount due, whichever
is greater, the limit has been increased to $250 000 or a third of the
amount due, whichever is greater.

Taxpayers facing retrenchment also stand to benefit from the 2003 tax
limits adjustments.

The tax-free severance package for the Zimbabwean retrenchee rises
from $150 000 or one third of $750 000 to $300 000 or one third of one third
of $1,5 million, whichever is greater, with effect from 1 January next year.

Despite exempting a greater range of people from the tax net,
Zimbabweans remain among the highest taxed people in the world.

Murerwa's only hint for the slashing of taxation levels related to the
Aids levy, that was imposed two years ago.

Murerwa said the HIV/Aids levy, currently at 3 percent of taxable
income, would only be lifted at the end of next year, when preparations for
an Aids endowment fund would be complete.

Corporate bodies, as taxable entities, would however immediately
benefit from the latest budget as corporate tax has been reduced from 35
percent to 30 percent, from 1 January 2003.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Daily News

Government swallows pride, embraces Nepad

11/15/02 9:33:34 AM (GMT +2)


By Colleen Gwari Business Reporter

THE government yesterday made an abrupt U-turn on the New Partnership
for Africa's Development (Nepad), which it had previously condemned as
neo-colonial.

Presenting the 2003 Budget estimates, the Minister of Finance and
Economic Development, Herbert Murerwa, said Nepad was a home-grown African
initiative designed to foster development on the continent.

He said Zimbabwe needed to play an active role in the Nepad processes,
or risk being left out by the international community. In the past the
government has scoffed at Nepad because of its reliance of Western economic
aid.

Murerwa said it was imperative that the country remained part of the
process. Spearheaded by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Nigerian
President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and
Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria, Nepad seeks to increase aid to
Africa from the West in return for good governance, respect for human rights
and the rule of law.

Incensed by and uncomfortable with the good governance and rule of law
clauses, the Zanu PF government attacked Nepad as a foreign concept devised
to further destabilise Africa.

The dissenting voices, led by Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for
Information and Publicity, said Nepad's conditionalities threatened the
independence and sovereignty of the continent.

Yesterday, Murerwa said: "It is, therefore, critical that Zimbabwe
remains part of this process. This is necessary if we are to reverse the
declining foreign investment flows, achieve sustainable economic growth and
development."

His remarks come against a backdrop of a severe economic decline,
including the collapse of the health delivery system and the transport
industry, among other the key sectors of the economy.

The manufacturing sector was one of the hardest hit with most
companies down-sizing operations, while others have closed shop and
relocated to neighbouring countries.

Murerwa bemoaned the lack of foreign currency inflows and Zimbabwe's
isolation by the international community. He said the country could not
afford to continue defaulting on its foreign debt commitments, as it risked
being kicked out of the global flow of capital. That, he said, would have
disastrous consequences on the economy and the country as a whole.

Zimbabwe was frozen out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF),
among other leading financial institutions, for defaulting on its debt. The
country has an accumulative total of US$1,3 billion external debt, about
Z$71,5 billion at the official exchange rate, but about $1,9 trillion on the
parallel market.

Economic analysts were quick to point out that Murerwa's stance was
nothing short of an admission by President Mugabe's government that the
country would not live in isolation.

Most analysts said Murerwa's remarks signalled a change of course. One
analyst, who declined to be named, said: "An acknowledgement by Murerwa on
the need for the country to work together with the international community
shows that the government is bowing to international pressure to restore
normalcy."

Didier Ferrand, the French Ambassador to Zimbabwe, speaking at the
rebranding ceremony of Hotel Mercure Rainbow in Victoria Falls, said there
was no way out for the country except the restoration of relations with the
international and donor community, especially the IMF and the World Bank.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Daily News - Leader Page

Food crisis could extend beyond March

11/15/02 10:53:30 AM (GMT +2)



ZIMBABWE'S food crisis could extend beyond March next year. Weather
experts have already warned of an El Nino effect this year, meaning there
are prospects of either a drought or floods. If there is a drought, the
likelihood is that the rains are likely to disappear at the end of January -
two months before most of the crops mature. On the other hand, if there are
floods the crops will be devastated.



The end result in both scenarios is that the current food crisis will
extend for another 12 months and the problems most people are facing now
will look like a picnic. This year, while most areas were affected by the
food shortages, there were pockets where it was possible for villagers to
harvest something. Evidence of this is shown by the bags dotted on the
carriers of most long-distance buses from the rural areas, driving into the
major urban centres. However, next year could present a different picture. A
drive into the rural areas shows little activity from the government's brave
new farmers, while in the communal areas the indications are that people are
just starting to plant.

Unless they are using short-season varieties, the crops will wilt
before they mature, when the rains disappear. The sum total of the
agricultural activities in the countryside is that there will be no
significant crop production, while on the other hand the country's ability
to generate foreign currency with which it could buy grain on the open world
market will be seriously affected by the government's compulsory acquisition
of farms under its land reform programme. In the end it will be up to the
international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to come to the rescue.
But the government has clamped down on NGOs and the chances are that very
few of them will be able to continue to operate in an environment where the
government will only tolerate NGOs prepared to let it distribute food
exclusively to its supporters.

The government's understanding of co-operating NGOs is confined to
those willing to condone its practice of denying food to anyone except those
able to produce Zanu PF party membership cards. The crisis is quite serious
and the prospects of starvation will be more real than they have ever been
during the recent past. The situation has been aggravated by a number of
factors. One is the unpreparedness of the newly resettled farmers to rise to
the occasion. Evidence of this reluctance is contained in the warnings to
those allocated farms that unless they take up occupation within a certain
time frame, they run the risk of losing the farms.

It was almost embarrassing for the government to have to do that,
because all along its argument was that there was pressure for land and that
farms were being invaded by impatient landless peasants. If they were hungry
landless peasants, they would not need government threats to be on the farms
they were given. The second factor is to do with inadequate resources. The
District Development Fund (DDF) is supposed to provide draught power to the
new farmers, but it is common cause that they are hopelessly ill-equipped to
undertake the task. Again evidence of this is seen in the villagers
struggling to plough the farms they have been allocated, using livestock for
draught power. But there was also the issue of the ability of the new
farmers to pay $4 000 for every hectare ploughed for them by the DDF. Many
could not raise that money.

The third factor has been that of input distribution. The wrangle
between the government and producers over seed prices delayed delivery of
seed to the centres around the country for the new farmers to access the
inputs. That delay has affected plantings and the hectarages planted.
Reports of some wheat crop still unharvested this time of the year will
worsen the shortages. And if there is a drought, then the much celebrated
winter maize cropping cannot be undertaken. Zimbabwe's land reform is
driving it into a second year of serious food shortages that could trigger
migration into neighbouring countries.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Daily News - The Mole

Interviewing himself not below Moyo's dignity

11/15/02 9:36:42 AM (GMT +2)



Have you noticed that whenever the government or - even more often -
the minister himself does something remarkably foolish or issues some
embarrassingly stupid statement which provokes public anger or derision,
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo does not do the normal thing, which is to
either keep quiet or issue a terse and succinct statement reaffirming the
status quo.

Instead, he invariably takes each and every single one of such
situations as an opportunity to avail himself for an interview with the
State-controlled Press during which it becomes "quite clear", to use one of
his many tired cliches, that he is for ever salivating for as many chances
as possible to exercise his gutter vocabulary to hurl abuse at people he
knows cannot hit back because they cannot avail themselves of similar
facilities to return the "compliments".

And almost always those so-called interviews are purportedly conducted
by the same person - the now thoroughly discredited Sunday Mail political
editor, Munyaradzi Huni. The use of the expressions
"so-called" and "purportedly" are deliberate.

Quite frankly, The Mole seriously doubts that those "interviews" are
any more genuine than the myriad of outlandish statements attributed to
faceless and nameless "analysts" and "African diplomats" issued in
support of the government's equally bizarre actions and routinely published
in newspapers belonging to the Zimpapers group.

And so, just as suspicions are high that those statements attributed
to some nameless "analysts" and "African diplomats" are, in fact, authored
at Munhumutapa Building, so too does The Mole think those "interviews" are,
in fact, authored by Moyo himself with the use of Huni as the interviewer
being no more than a convenient way of making his often incoherent ramblings
look like genuine interviews.

Just look at their lengths and how, in response to a very short and
sometimes vague "question", he goes on and on and on, usually flying off at
a tangent, attacking and insulting innocent people and organisations
perceived not particularly enthusiastic about the idea of supporting the
government's insanity which is deteriorating at an alarming pace.

In his "interview with Munyaradzi Huni" in the wake of the
controversial closure of Joy TV, for example, Moyo "was asked": "There are
rumours that the government wants to give Joy TV's licence to New Ziana, is
that true?"

This was a straightforward question which needed to be replied calmly
with a simple "yes" or "no". But the master of invective saw it as an
opportunity to fulminate in typically indecorous fashion: "Look, those are
foolish rumours from foolish people whose ignorance and malice knows no
bounds."

It is, however, Moyo's most recent "interview" in The Sunday Mail of
10 November which has prompted this piece. The so-called interview would
have been hilarious for its sheer childishness were it not so uncouth in the
manner Moyo relentlessly and unfairly assails both the person and character
of National Constitutional Assembly chairman, Dr Lovemore Madhuku.

The "interview" was ostensibly sought to enable Moyo to explain the
government's ban on British Prime Minister Tony Blair and all senior
officials in his government from setting foot on Zimbabwean soil which, as
far as The Mole is concerned, would have been a pointless exercise had it
not touched on the one relevant aspect of the ban: the inclusion in that ban
of specified indigenous black Africans working on SW Radio Africa and VOP in
Britain and the Netherlands.

The truth hurts and makes those who are normally strangers to it very
nervous and jittery when it confronts them. Which is what happened to Moyo
when it was put to him that Madhuku says the ban from their country of
birth - a most stupid move to take, I must say - was both illegal and
unconstitutional, which, of course is true. Motormouth nearly tore himself
up with rage. He went for poor Madhuku's jugular, teeth, nails and all.

It could be argued, perhaps with some justification as some might say,
that it was fair comment on Moyo's part to mention that Madhuku was once
convicted for dishonesty involving money because he is a public figure.

But to mention that fact no less than 13 times is to go a bit
overboard. In any case, what has that got to do with the issue at hand? How
did Moyo, by harping upon that irrelevant fact, much like the acid-tongued
township woman bent on humiliating another, hope to destroy the plain truth
that the government's childish, vengeful act of banning people from their
country was illegal and unconstitutional?

In any case, someone ought to tell the good Professor that Madhuku
paid dearly for his obvious indiscretion by going to jail. Therefore, Moyo
can only make reference to the case if some time in the future Madhuku is
convicted of another crime again.

But then again, someone must remind Moyo that, in spite of his own
numerous indiscretions and misdemeanours, unlike His Caustic Highness, the
Professor, the rest of Zimbabweans are too decent to ever refer to his
alleged financial escapades at the Ford Foundation as well as at Wits
University which would make Madhuku's crime petty by comparison.

One other thing: will someone please warn the professor to stop trying
to dignify his outrageous personal views by pretending to be speaking on
behalf of all of us through the reckless use of the phrase "most
Zimbabweans" when it is clear he is only speaking for himself - and,
perhaps, his master? In any case, just like Patrick Chinamasa, he has no
right to speak on behalf of Zimbabweans, even only a few hundred of us,
because he is not an elected MP.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Daily News

52 arrested in blitz to stop illegal sale of basic goods

11/15/02 10:00:47 AM (GMT +2)


From Our Correspondent in Masvingo

ABOUT 52 people, including 18 who run butcheries, were arrested in
Masvingo on Wednesday, in a blitz in which police impounded seven tonnes of
maize grain and maize-meal to stamp out the sale of basic commodities in the
open.

The arrests have prompted the police to investigate the Masvingo Grain
Marketing Board (GMB) depot to establish the sale of maize to unlicensed
dealers.

Learn Ncube, the provincial police spokesman, confirmed the arrests,
saying scores of people selling basic commodities in the open risked being
arrested in the crackdown.

Ncube confirmed the police were investigating the Masvingo GMB depot
amid reports that workers there were involved in the maize and maize-meal
scandal.

Ncube said: "Those found in possession of maize-meal will be charged
with contravening the Shop Licences Act while those found in possession of
large quantities of maize grain will be charged with selling the controlled
commodity at exorbitant prices."

During the exercise, the police impounded 135 10kg bags of maize-meal,
100 50kg bags of maize grain, 53 20kg bags maize-meal, three 50kg bags and
220 bags 20kg of maize-meal.

Ncube said the 18 butcher operators were arrested for selling meat at
inflated prices.

He said some of the impounded maize is suspected to have been bought
from the GMB.

The police were anxious to establish how the consignments ended up in
the hands of the illegal dealers.

"We want to find out how the maize is being taken out of the GMB
depot," he said. "We have discovered that people have masqueraded as heads
of hospitals and other institutions to get the maize-meal and we suspect
that workers at the depot might be involved in the scam."

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Dear Family and Friends,
It's so hard totell people what life in Zimbabwe is like now but this week I'd like to try and describe a typical day of mine. I often sit on the step outside my front door at 4.45am having a cup of tea and watching dawn break. I've always been an early morning person but these days I get up early out of necessity and not choice because it's the early bird that finds food, fuel and everything else in Zimbabwe now. It is so beautiful to sit out early in the morning and watch the things that are the very essence of life here. Weaver birds with theirmagnificent breeding colours flit around the lawn picking up all the Christmas beetles that have hit the lights overnight. Lilac breasted rollers squabbleon the telephone lines and every now and again a hammerkop comes down and nods and bobs his head as he patrols the garden for insects.Over the wall I waveto my neighbour who is already hard at it. He is in his suit, jacket hanging on a thorn bush, tie flipped over his shoulder, sleeves rolled up and a hoe in his hand. He is weeding between the lines of maize and beans that he's planted on the side of the road in front of my house. There are already a lot of people on the road but they're not going to work, they're going to find food and are all heading for a house a block away with a big kitchen andan enterprising owner. It is known as a "tuck shop" andyou can get more of life's basics here than you can in the big supermarkets in Marondera town. Every morning people rush to stand in line outside the back door of the tuck shop. The line starts at 5am, the owner gives everyone a small piece of cardboard with a number on it indicating the order in which they will be served. 100 or more people wait until 5.30am when the door opens and each person may buy one loaf of bread. By 6am there's nothing left.
I thank God for that loaf of bread because it means my 10 year old son will have a sandwich in his school lunchbox. It also means that I won't have to jostle amongst the 47 trucks and 500 peoplewaiting at the one and only bakery still operating in Marondera. Taking Richie to school has become a bit of a nightmare. It's only a 2 kilometre journey but the dirt road hasn't been graded for many months and the pot holes and ruts are so bad that 30km/h is about top speed on the good bits. Once a week I go straight from schoolinto Marondera town to find two things - food or petrol. I haven't done very well on the food side this week because there's almost nothing to buy that I can afford anymore. There have been no basics at all (there is no petrol or diesel so veryfew delivery trucks have come our way) and everything else has rocketed in price. A simple packet of biscuits which was one hundred dollars last week is now just over two hundred dollars. A pack of chewing gum that was 52 dollars last week is 224 today. I confine my purchases to things for Richies lunch box and a newspaper (which was 60 dollars on Monday and 100 dollars by Wednesday). A young boy called Marvellousguardsmy car while I'm in the supermarket and I give him ten dollars when I come out, not because the car needs guarding but because he's hungry. I hear a rumour that there might be petrol coming in to one of the 4 filling stations in town and go straight there. By the time I arrive the queue is already so long that I can't see the beginning so I get into theline and wait with everyone else. It took 2 hours and 22 minutes for me to get to the front of the queue, hot,pretty fed up and with a stinking headache. In those 2 and a half hours I saw the real face of life in a small country town in Zimbabwe today.
In every direction you look there are people waiting for something whether it's a lift in a minibus or a vendor selling vegetables. Crowds of men stand around bottle stores drinking beer from brown plastic bottles known as scuds. A woman with a small enamel bowl comes to my car window and tries to persuade me to buy a small plastic tube filled with frozen drink. These frozen coloured drinks used to be called cent-a cools because they cost one cent, now we just call them freezits. The woman wants $50 each for them and doesn't try and persuade me when I say no because there are plenty of other customers in the petrol queue behind me.
Two young men in green uniforms with shining red police boots and carryingblack rubber truncheons strutted up the road. Everyone looked away, these are the notorious graduates from the Border Gezi training camps and we call them "green bombers" because they wreak havoc in every direction. The two went up to a man with a pile of wilting cabbages, picked one up, poked it, laughed scornfully and threw it down. The cabbage rolled heavily onto the road and no-one moved or said anything until the green bombers had walked on.
A man wearing blue overalls and a black leather hat caught my attention. He was sitting on a tyre on the roadside and decanting brandy into a half empty coke bottle. His wife, her face wreathed in new scars, stood beside him with one bag of fertilizer and two largebags of belongings. A minibus with the name "Commander"was waved downby the woman and brandy man sat drinking while his woman negotiated a price. Asked where he wanted to go to, brandy man said "to the farms" and he carried on drinking while his woman broke her back carrying first the 2 bags and then the 50kg sack of fertilizer to the vehicle. Brandy man is one of Zimbabwe's new farmers and it is in him that we have to put our hope and trust. It'shard to explain why one of Zimbabwe's new farmers is sitting on the roadside getting drunk at 11 in the morningduring the busiest time of our growing season. It's just as hard to explain why President Mugabe and his cabinet just gave themselves their second pay rise of the year and backdated ittoJuly while we get up before dawn toqueue for a loaf of bread and 6 million Zimbabweans are starving.
There is no sign of the threatened US "intrusive intervention" into Zimbabwe yet but perhaps the shooting at a road block in Mutare last week of an American citizen will spur them into action. My sincerest condolences toHoward and the family of Richard Gilman who I had been corresponding with for some time and who has done so very much to help children and others in need in Mutare.Richard's loving, compassion and good deeds will not go un-remembered, not by me nor the 840 children he had raised money to feed at a remote school in Mutare. I continue to wear my yellow ribbon of silent protest,today it is for Richard Gilman. Until next week, with love, cathy. http://africantears.netfirms.com Copyright cathy buckle Saturday 16th November 2002.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

How Zimbabwe Lost the Peace in the DRC

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

November 15, 2002
Posted to the web November 15, 2002

Chido Makunike


The last of Zimbabwe's soldiers involved in the war in the DRC have either
come home, or are about to. For the most part, their return has been as
unceremonious as their initial involvement in that country.

Despite the Zimbabwean government's claim that they nobly accomplished their
stated goals of preserving the DRC's sovereignty and territorial integrity
against various invaders, the lowkey return of the troops is the Mugabe
government's tacit acceptance of the deep domestic unpopularity of the
military adventure.

President Mugabe failed to win any significant number of Zimbabweans to the
argument that our military involvement was a noble, principled
pan-Africanist effort.

He is not the first African leader to seek glory from foreign military and
diplomatic grandiosity at the expense of domestic economic wellbeing.

Somewhere along the way, in response to the lukewarm reception to Mugabe's
pan-Africanistic blandishments, it was argued that Zimbabwe's military
involvement in the DRC was also good for business.

After all, it was said, the DRC was a huge untapped market for all kinds of
goods, a country rich in diamond wealth, and one that would be favourably
disposed to a Zimbabwe that we were told would be regarded by the Congolese
as their saviour against marauding Ugandans and Rwandese, and of course the
traditional Western imperialists, who unlike us, only involved themselves in
that vast, rich, dysfunctional country for selfish gain.

Let us evaluate Mugabe's DRC military adventure on his own terms, and try to
see if it has been a success or failure.

There is a semblance of peace in the DRC, with Zimbabwean and other foreign
troops about to be replaced by UN troops. Given the more or less permanent
state of martial law or civil war that the DRC has been in for several
decades now, that must be rated as at least a hopeful sign of bringing order
to that country.

Yet the peace that reigns is tenuous at best, and Joseph Kabila's government
cannot be said to wield central authority over all or even most of that
country. Zimbabwean troops appear to have indeed been a stabilising, if
partisan force, and their withdrawal is being manifested by increasing
instability that could yet see that country slide back to square one.

While Uganda and Rwanda make as big a show of withdrawing their troops as
Zimbabwe does, they are much better poised to retain a presence there than
we are. Both countries have a lot of common social and cultural ground with
the DRC that allows them to blend in far better and easier than Zimbabweans
do.

They know their way around the DRC far better than we do, and so it will
take a long time to verify to what extent they have really "withdrawn".

Compared to the various other foreigners involved in the DRC, Mugabe really
does seem to have been initially driven by ideological, pan-Africanist
principle, although good old-fashioned greed and military machismo may have
taken over at the end. This ideological romanticism has worked against
Zimbabwe's interests because the many opponents arrayed against it were
motivated by the more powerful reason of pure self-interest; economic,
strategic or territorial.

It was much easier for nearby Uganda or Rwanda to put forward plausible
arguments for involvement than distant Zimbabwe. Even if we were to agree
with the rightness of Mugabe's stated cause for unilaterally committing our
troops in the DRC, they were stacked against too many equally or more
powerful forces to make any long-term difference.

As Zimbabwe withdraws, many of the foreign forces that have helped to keep
the hapless DRC in misery for decades are recouping, entrenching their
interests in cleverer, less obvious ways.

The Americans, French and Belgians have been quite shameless over the
decades in throwing away all the democratic and other ideals they are so
fond of touting to the rest of the world in the rush to plunder the DRC's
mineral wealth. Armed with technological know-how and capital the DRC badly
needs, and that a country like Zimbabwe cannot provide, they are rushing in
to take advantage of whatever temporary order Zimbabwe has helped to bring
about at great cost to itself. In the best of circumstances, Zimbabwe's
businesspeople could only have been expected to invest in a small way in the
DRC, but even that was made impossible by Mugabe's domestic policies that
have brought industry to its knees.

Zimbabwe is not only being out-manoeuvred by these countries, as well as
out-competed by an economically stronger and diplomatically craftier South
Africa, the Congolese themselves do not show any of the long-term loyalty
and gratitude to Mugabe that might have been expected. There has been a
marked cooling of relations between Zimbabwe and the DRC since Joseph Kabila
inherited power from his assassinated father Laurent, Mugabe's buddy, and
the ordinary Congolese do not show much sign of strong fealty to Zimbabwe
for "saving" them from foreign invaders.

Kabila Jnr now embarrassingly keeps Mugabe at arms length, making it quite
clear that now that he feels more safe and secure in his position as a
result of Mugabe having been his and his father's bodyguard, he can do
without him very nicely, thank you very much. A Mugabe who still lives in
the era of liberation-era sentimentality is left with nothing to show for
his costly DRC adventure as Kabila and the Congolese choose practicality
over sentimentality in hitching their wagons to the South Africans,
Americans and others they perceive to be able to do more for them from now
on than Mugabe and Zimbabwe can.

Except for a few of Mugabe's henchmen who have amassed diamonds, and the
medals on the chests of a few soldiers, Zimbabwe has gained absolutely
nothing from its military involvement in the DRC. This has exposed yet again
how Mugabe may be a fierce, effective warrior, but one who has no clue how
to exploit the ensuing peace for the benefit of his country.

Chido Makunike is a Harare-based freelance writer.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


The Daily News


Government has no intention of repealing POSA: Chinamasa

11/15/02 10:56:41 AM (GMT +2)


Political Editor

PATRICK Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs, on Wednesday said the government had no intention of repealing the
notorious Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

Chinamasa said POSA would not be repealed because it ensured the
opposition MDC remained under control.

"The government has never had any intention of repealing POSA because
the MDC would have made the country ungovernable," he said, without
elaborating. "There is no quest to repeal the Act because POSA is the answer
to the MDC."

Chinamasa was responding to a question by Tsholotsho MP, Mtoliki
Sibanda, who wanted to know whether the government would repeal the Act to
allow for free and fair elections to take place in the country.

Sibanda, an MDC member, said the recent local government elections
were held under forbidding conditions, similar to a state of
emergency.Chinamasa said it was not the government's fault that the MDC had
failed to field candidates in some areas.

Earlier, in response to a separate question, Chinamasa said the public
did not necessarily need to seek permission from the police to hold a
meeting, but that the police reserved the right to provide guidance on how
such a meeting should proceed.

Several civic and political leaders have been arrested under the POSA,
which is deemed more repressive than its preceding legislation, the Law and
Order Maintenance Act,which was crafted by the colonial regime.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Daily News

Barwe faces eviction by war veterans

11/15/02 9:54:47 AM (GMT +2)


Staff Reporter

SO-CALLED war veterans are reportedly trying to evict the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation's chief correspondent, Reuben Barwe, from land he
was allocated at Sunnyside Farm, about 46km on the Harare-Bulawayo road.

If carried out, Barwe's eviction would be ironic as he is a staunch
supporter of the government's chaotic and often violent land reform
programme.

Barwe and other journalists in the State-controlled media were
allocated land under the A2 commercial farming scheme in a move largely seen
as a reward for their loyalty to Zanu PF.

But Barwe on Wednesday denied there were any moves to evict him.

He said he still retained the 240 hectares allocated to him and had
already tilled about 50 hectares and planted maize and soya beans.

He said: "Whoever said that is lying. I don't know anything about it.
People are working in the fields right now. I was there this morning. No, it
's not true. They are lying."

But one of his workers, who asked not to be named, yesterday said a
group of war veterans, usually numbering up to six, had regularly visited
the farm in recent weeks claiming they had been allocated the fields Barwe
had ploughed.

The worker, who was herding about 10 cattle near Barwe's workers'
huts, said: "The war veterans say they were given all the fields on the farm
and Barwe should leave. They say he should go and clear the bush farther
away from here and do his farming there."

She said the war veterans, believed to be from Norton, about 5km away,
had threatened to burn down the workers' six huts if Barwe failed to comply.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Daily News

Budget likely to exacerbate economic problems - analysts

11/15/02 10:51:48 AM (GMT +2)


By Chris Mhike and Columbus Mavhunga

THE 2003 National Budget is a historic disappointment likely to
achieve the exact opposite of what it seeks to achieve, economists said
yesterday.

Professor Tony Hawkins, the director of the University of Zimbabwe
graduate school of management, described the Budget, presented yesterday by
Herbert Murerwa, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, as a
"non-event".

"The minister has left too much hanging in the balance so that there
is nothing substantial upon which people can hope for an improvement to the
current situation.

"There are too many inconsistencies in that budget so that the figures
therein do not make any sense at all."

Murerwa's presentation yesterday was punctuated with
"modalities-to-be-announced-later" as he pronounced monetary policy, leaving
out fiscal policy .

For instance, in making projections on inflation in the 2003 financial
year, the Finance Minister said: "This budget targets for the reduction of
double-digit inflation, of 90 percent by the end of next year, and
single-digit inflation thereafter."

He did not, however, specify how that uphill feat would be achieved
under Zimbabwe's turbulent macro-economic conditions, and under his vague
budget.

"The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will soon provide the
requisite monetary policy measures for 2003," said Murerwa.

Hawkins said the International Monetary Fund projection of 500 percent
inflation by the end of next year, was closer to the truth than Murerwa's
unsubstantiated figures.

Anthony Mandiwanza, the president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries, also cast doubt at Murerwa's projections on inflation and other
macro-economic fundamentals.

Mandiwanza is also the chief executive officer of Dairibord Zimbabwe
Limited, one of the few companies singled out by Murerwa as a successful
example of privatisation. However, the government seems to have slowed down
its privatisation programme as indicated in Murerwa's speech.

Mandiwanza said inflation had been fuelled in this financial year by
high government expenditure and reduced export activity. While the minister
declared that export output would be enhanced, accompanying policy to
support the declaration was lacking, said Mandiwanza.

He said: "The minister cast his projections for inflation at a
two-digit figure, but does government have sufficient capacity and the
requisite discipline to ensure that its expenditure is reduced?"

Incidentally, the overall Budget deficit expected to be recorded by
the end of this year is 14,1 percent of gross domestic product. Total
domestic borrowing requirements for the 2002 Budget rose in the course of
this year from $87,4 billion to $136,3 billion.

Murerwa said the economy would next year suffer another Budget
deficit.

Mandiwanza said the deficit figures reflected negatively on the
practicality of Murerwa's projections. "How is the minister going to finance
the deficit? I suspect he will do so through inflationary means. "That would
only accelerate inflation," said Mandiwanza.He echoed Hawkins' sentiments,
that there was nothing in the Budget to enhance the increase in productivity
of the Zimbabwean economy, and the restoration of the nation's tattered
economy.

Other commentators described Budget as the final nail in the country's
economic coffin as Murerwa had failed to read the real economic situation.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Daily News

Defence gets second largest vote

11/15/02 9:40:11 AM (GMT +2)


By Luke Tamborinyoka Political Editor

DESPITE the announced withdrawal of Zimbabwe from the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Defence ministry received the second
largest vote in the budget announced yesterday.

The ministry, which has dominated expenditure in the government
departments, was yesterday allocated a whopping $76,4 billion by the
Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Herbert Murerwa.

The highest vote went to the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture,
which received $109,2 billion. Even the Ministry of Health and Child
Welfare, which is facing a critical shortage of staff and essential drugs
was yesterday allocated $73,4 billion against $90 billion that it had
demanded.

In his budget speech, however, Murerwa said there was need to
recapitalise the army: "With peace in the DRC and the withdrawal of our
troops from that country, I would like to take this opportunity to
congratulate our gallant fighters for a job well done. However, there is now
a need to recapitalise both the army and the airforce, in order to enhance
their capacity to defend our sovereignty."

Murerwa did not elaborate on what threats the country was facing now
that the blazing guns were silent in the DRC, to which where the army was
dispatched in 1998 to help the DRC regime of the late Laurent Kabila ward
off rebels sponsored by Rwanda and Uganda.

The MDC shadow minister for Defence, Giles Mutsekwa, last night said
the colossal allocation was probably meant to fund the government's youth
brigade.

"I do not think that this vote is solely going to benefit the
Zimbabwean army. This government has been sponsoring its youth brigade, who
have been moving around in army and police uniforms and beating up people.
The government had to find money, somehow," Mutsekwa said.

He said it could be a lie that the government had totally withdrawn
from the DRC.

"Once an army withdraws from such an assignment, there should be a
grand parade, where the financial and human cost of the adventure would be
explained to the nation. We have not had such a grand parade," he said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Daily News

Murerwa pleads with God

11/15/02 8:25:10 AM (GMT +2)


By Luke Tamborinyoka Political Editor

THE Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Herbert Murerwa,
yesterday appealed to God to save Zimbabwe from further economic decline.

Tabling the 2003 National Budget in Parliament, with an estimated
deficit of over $200 billion, Murerwa painted a gloomy picture of the
country's economic performance and projected an even bleaker picture for
next year.

In his concluding remarks after explaining the arduous task ahead for
the government, a downcast Murerwa put his faith in the Holy Book."Mr
Speaker, Sir, allow me to conclude with a message from the prophet Jeremiah.
In Chapter 29, verse 11, he says: 'For I know the plans I have for you,
declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give
you hope and a future.' I believe, Mr Speaker, God has a similar plan for
Zimbabwe as well."

In his response, the MDC shadow minister for finance, Tapiwa
Mashakada, said: "The magnitude of the economic problems has prompted the
government to seek divine intervention."

Murerwa announced a $770,2 billion budget, against projected revenue
of $540 billion, giving a deficit of $230,2 billion. He projected a negative
growth rate of minus 7,2 percent, with projected year-end inflation of 96,1
percent for 2003, down from an all-time high of 144,2 percent this year.

Murerwa said the country was facing severe socio-economic problems and
that all sectors of the economy were shrinking in their performance and that
the country had become a high-risk investment destination.

He said low foreign exchange availability had left most companies
operating below capacity while others had closed down, leading to job losses
and increased poverty.

A highlight of the Budget was the announcement that bureaux de change,
accused by the government of fuelling the black market in foreign currency,
will be banned from operating at the end of this month. Murerwa conceded
that international isolation had had a corrosive effect on the economy.

"The country's external position further deteriorated in 2002,
reflecting the combined effects of sanctions and declining exports," he
said. Murerwa said agricultural production had fallen from -12,0 percent in
2001 to -20,8 percent in 2002. He said high inflation had affected the
unemployed, the pensioners and even the middle-income earners.

He said food imports were necessary and were expected to cost US$359,3
million (Z$19,76 billion at the official rate). Murerwa said manufacturing
was operating at 60 percent below capacity as many companies had closed
down. He said there was poor performance in mining and tourism generally.

He said with the land redistribution programme, the projected growth
of agriculture was expected to improve overall economic growth.
"Productivity in agriculture will also improve income levels and
generate increased aggregate demand," he said.

Murerwa drew jeers from opposition MPs when he said Zimbabwe had
guaranteed private property rights.

"Government recognises that Zimbabwe is an integral part of the global
economy and has always respected internationally recognised rules, which
govern property rights."

He said with the hardships facing the nation, the government would
have to readjust its spending patterns.

Murerwa said among the challenges for 2003 were food security,
agrarian finance, restoration of confidence, high inflation, exporter
viability, external payment arrears, pricing policy, public enterprise
reform, public transport and cross-border investment, among others.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent - Muckraker

Not-so-pretty 'Polley' and the jailbird
Under the heading "Rumours of government intending to acquire all mining
rights dispelled", the Business Herald recently quoted Minister of Mines
Edward Chindori-Chininga as saying: "I wish to assure all mining rights
owners that their property rights acquired under the Mines and Minerals Act
are secure and protected by the laws of Zimbabwe."

He referred to people "unconcerned with mining peddling falsehoods"
regarding the government's intention to expropriate mining claims and
operations. What he didn't say was who had been peddling these "falsehoods".
While the business community will be pleased to have his assurance, they are
entitled to expect a more forthright attribution of responsibility from the
minister. Exactly who has been spreading alarm and despondency in the mining
sector?

The Herald managed to round up a couple of tame "analysts" to comment on its
silly "US plans to invade Zimbabwe" story last week. They should have known
better. Chris Mutsvangwa for instance cannot seriously believe the Americans
are about to launch an invasion. Dropping food by parachute is about as
"intrusive" as they are likely to get. Mutsvangwa is a diplomat, not an
analyst, and it's about time he started behaving like one.

Rino Zhuwarara is a media trainer. Why we need the benefit of his hidebound
Mahosian views on American foreign policy is not clear. The Americans might
drop bombs along with food parcels, he fatuously suggested. The Americans
were not the only source of charity, he lamely added.

So who are the others? Certainly not the Libyans or any other so-called
allies of the regime. The biggest donors are Britain and the EU who also
channel aid through the World Food Programme.

Zhuwarara should concentrate on training better journalists. The next time
the Herald calls he should tell them the truth. He is not really an analyst.
Just another academic parrot.

On the subject of which we were delighted to see Olley Maruma back in the
editorial pages of the Herald. We quite thought he had dropped of his perch.
Last week he castigated Lovemore Madhuku as an "ex-criminal" sowing "mayhem"
in Zimbabwe by demanding a new constitution. Madhuku was once jailed for
stealing money from his clients when he was a practising lawyer, Maruma
reminded us.

Just six days later in the Sunday Mail Jonathan Moyo was describing Madhuku
as a "jailbird" who "stole money from his clients".

So it is clear where Polley has been taught to sing even if he isn't
particularly pretty!

Moyo, by the way, dismissively asked his Sunday Mail interviewer how a new
constitution could possibly stop the shortages of goods, create jobs, combat
disease or end poverty.

"Which fool does not know that these things are a matter of policy and not
the constitution," he confidently asserted.

Who is fooling who here? Constitutional reform is about political
accountability. That means a situation in which public resources are
accounted for and not misallocated or stolen. If we had an accountable
government we would not have food shortages or extreme poverty because money
would not have been diverted to the Congo or Zanu PF militias.

Moyo knows that. Why else did he champion constitutional reform two years
ago if not to create a better society? Surely he is not admitting to wasting
all that money convincing us to vote for constitutional reform when he didn'
t really believe in it? He surely cannot be counting himself among the
"idiots, crooks and outright criminals" who "either peddle such rubbish or
believe it"?

But at least we now have his admission that shortages, unemployment, poverty
and disease are a matter of policy. We suspected as much!

We would like to assure writers at the Mirror that not all historical
references appearing in the Zimbabwe Independent are inspired by the editor.

The Mirror's "Behind-the-Words" columnist saw the heavy hand of our editor
behind references to a covert state-driven press campaign and post-Soviet
media oligarchs in a recent article by Dumisani Muleya. In fact, the details
about South Africa's "Infogate" scandal in the 1970s and more recent events
in the former Soviet Union are all in the public domain and available to any
resourceful journalist. But the Mirror's sensitivity about references to
oligarchs and apparatchiks is entirely understandable.

We were also taken to task over the same article by the chairman of the
Media Africa Group which publishes the Tribune. He appears unaware that
speculation regarding ownership of newspapers is an entirely legitimate
pursuit. The public have a right to know who is behind pro-government
publications popping up here and there.

Charging that we have an "infantile understanding of the political economy
of Zimbabwe" does nothing to clarify the Tribune's position except to betray
an all-too-familiar talent for abuse in certain circles. And threatening to
"advise the Media Ethics Commission (sic)" of our "political theatrics" is
hardly likely to convince readers that the Media Africa Group is independent
of those interests the Media and Information Commission represents!

Muckraker was intrigued by the bitter denunciation that greeted articles
appearing in the Financial Gazette last month. Information minister Jonathan
Moyo told the Herald that an article claiming President Thabo Mbeki was to
launch an initiative aimed at breaking the political impasse in Zimbabwe was
"criminal".

In a wholly disproportionate response, Moyo said the story "claiming that
South African President Thabo Mbeki is plotting an unconstitutional exit of
President Mugabe is a sickening example of the kind of diplomatic rubbish
that can only emanate from incompetent and very desperate British
intelligence operatives run by the likes of Brian Donnelly."

Moyo threatened that "legal questions must necessarily be raised" as to
whether the journalists involved had "any factual or lawful reasons to
believe the manifestly British-sponsored propaganda."

What on earth is he talking about? At no stage was it suggested that Mbeki
was "plotting an unconstitutional exit" for Mugabe. Since when anyway has
Zanu PF given a damn about the constitution which it has amended 16 times?
And Mbeki's initiative to resume talks between Zanu PF and the MDC is public
knowledge. That is what Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was doing here last month,
according to official statements in Pretoria.

Newspapers have every right to speculate about the conditionalities of those
talks. The reciprocal dropping of charges against MDC leaders and court
cases against the government would be a logical development if the talks
were to succeed. That South African diplomacy was linked to statements made
in the House of Lords (not the Commons as Moyo stated) by Baroness Amos is
also less than surprising. There is considerable international cooperation
to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis.

Moyo is abusing his authority by threatening legal action against newspapers
which have broken no law, including his own defective legislation. And by
making defamatory remarks about the journalists who wrote the story and
linking them to non-existent British intelligence operatives, Moyo is simply
discrediting his case before it has even been tested in the courts.

But his outburst does reveal one thing: Zanu PF's sensitivity about being
forced into bed with the "treacherous" MDC by its supposed friends in the
ANC!

Meanwhile, the Financial Gazette has also been castigated for comparing the
Mugabe regime to al-Qaeda. Permanent Secretary in the Department of
Information George Charamba said comparing a constitutionally-elected
government to a terrorist organisation was not only breaching the law but
criminalising the country's democracy.

"It amounts to criminalising our whole democratic process and collectively
indicting and branding as terrorists the vast majority of Zimbabweans whose
democratic participation in the country's election process yielded the
present government," he observed.

He said while the government recognised and respected both criticism and
opposition as lawful exercises of rights in "our hard-won democracy", such
expressions of dissent "should operate within the confines of reasonableness
as defined by law, fairness and commonsense".

So is it unlawful to describe a regime that uses terror as an electoral
strategy as "terrorist"? Is it unreasonable to compare a party whose armed
supporters drink the blood of their slain victims with other armed and
dangerous organisations?

It's not only the independent media that has described as criminal the
methods of violence, coercion and political fundamentalism that Zanu PF used
to "win" the presidential poll. Observers who reported on the election
referred to kidnapping, torture, and other forms of intimidation. These
human rights abuses and the killing of over 100 people have been documented
by a number of reputable human rights monitors.

And who is "criminalising the country's democracy" if not those who are
abusing its laws and violating the liberties of its citizens? The real
criminals are those recently exposed in a UN report. Those who have used the
levers of power to grow rich while the country becomes poorer. Those who
employ violence and intimidation to maintain themselves in power.

The "vast majority" which Charamba refers to amounts to 400 000 people, all
living in Zanu PF's rural fiefdom, many of whom were registered after the
voters registration exercise closed, and who in any case had no choice as to
who to vote for. The tens of thousands turned away from polling stations in
cities or who were arbitrarily and illegally denied the right to vote would
find Charamba's remarks about "democratic participation" downright
insulting.

Let's have no more protests about calling this regime what it is.

"Zimbabwe has become a looter's paradise, guaranteeing survival only for
Mugabe's bootlickers and sycophants," the offending Fingaz article said. Isn
't that what everybody thinks?

Charamba thinks it is an offence for a newspaper to "provoke and demonise"
the government. But if the government is provoked by the truth, that is its
problem, not ours.

And the South African High Commissioner was ill-advised in responding to the
story as if it was indeed a plot.

On a slightly less serious note, the Herald reported at the same time a
story about MWeb's classified ads section on its website carrying an
advertisement which described President Mugabe's hobbies as "seeing people
dying of hunger and grabbing other people's land".

"Many people" had called the Herald, we were told, to protest.

"They should be made to retract unreservedly the harm that has been done to
the person of the president," one caller was reported to have said.

Can we have his name and number? We think we know where he was calling from.

But MWeb gets no marks at all for its grovelling apology which appeared a
few days later in the Herald's Letters column. Either it supports freedom of
expression or subscribers will move elsewhere.

On the subject of freedom of expression, South African newspapers reacted in
unison to news agency reports that Zimbabwean police had arrested a man for
carrying a placard saying: "God shall confront Mugabe over evils done to
people, then would police and Central Intelligence officials arrest God on
that day?"

The Sowetan headed their report: "He must be crazy not to like Mugabe."

Indeed, all dictatorships regard anybody questioning the dogmas of their
leaders as deranged. When somebody carrying a knife in the mid-1970s was
caught trying to get into Ian Smith's office he was immediately sent for
tests on his sanity. How times (don't) change!

Finally, it seems President Mugabe was misquoted last year when he said:
"Nobody could run the economy better than me."

What he actually said was: "Nobody can ruin the economy better than me."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent - Eric Bloch Column

Blatant stupidity drives land policy
BY now, hardly a week passes by without government enunciating yet another
hare-brained policy, the only material effect of which would be to hammer an
already severely battered economy, or embarking upon yet another foolhardy,
ill-considered action which can only result in intensification of the
economic hardships which have beset almost all Zimbabweans.

The decline of the economy is attributable to numerous, very different
causes, but the overwhelming majority of those causes are a direct
consequence of government's unwillingness to heed any advice given it,
irrespective of how well-intentioned and soundly based that advice may be,
and its obdurate determination to adhere to its policies and to persist in
implementing them without regard to their proven inefficacy and abysmal
impact upon a people suffering greatly.

Last week was a case in point. Suddenly, government announced modification
to its land policies, stating that all land acquired by the state under the
inhuman and unjust, economically calamitous agrarian reform programme will
for all time be owned by the state. The lands seized from rightful owners
could no longer be possessed by individuals, companies or any other
entities. The lands are to be the absolute property of the state, available
to those of the populace as the state determines on a basis of tenancy only.
The impression gained by the latest authoritarian decree of the allegedly
democratic, but actually dictatorial rulers of Zimbabwe is that they have
recognised that although they have reduced the economy to dire straits, and
most of the population to abject poverty, nevertheless the economy is not
yet completely destroyed, and has yet to be beaten to death, and that they
have recognised that no matter how greatly most have been impoverished,
their suffering can still be intensified.

The result of the proclamation that all the acquired lands must vest in the
state is that very few, if any, of the "new" farmers will be able to access
funding required to finance essential inputs and agricultural operating
costs, let alone to fund subsistence of the farmers and their families
whilst awaiting the harvesting of crops. Notwithstanding that most banks,
financial institutions, and civically-conscious organisations have pledged
to provide funding in excess of $25 billion, they must be accorded
reasonable security, but without land tenure, virtually all are lacking of
acceptable collateral. Moreover, the absence of ownership of land must
inevitably diminish the motivation and drive of most of the newly-settled
farmers.

The blatant stupidity and consequences of government's land policies was
concisely and most effectively addressed recently by one of Zimbabwe's most
renowned, patriotic and concerned economists, John Robertson, who said:
"When this country was colonised just over 100 years ago, the indigenous
population was estimated at about 500 000 people. Archaeological records
suggest it was seldom higher than that in the past 1000 years. And in the
Great Zimbabwe phase some 500 years ago, an ecological disaster appears to
have overtaken the more than usually concentrated gatherings of people.

"I believe that today's resettlement farmers are on a very rapid learning
curve. On it they will learn, not how to make a success of small- scale
farming, but how it is that small-scale farming was never able to sustain a
population bigger than in today's Chitungwiza.

"When the colonisers came to this country, they brought with them many ideas
that were eagerly adopted by the indigenous population. Today there is no
question of discarding telephones, road-building techniques, anti-malaria
drugs or distilleries. And nobody wants to turn back to having no schools or
hospitals, no newspapers or postal services, no motor cars and no insurance
salesmen. Today's politicians might claim to resent colonialism, but they
have no intention of giving up the innovations that came with it.

"Except for one. Very curiously, the one colonial import they are rejecting
is the one that has had a more profound effect on the wealth-generating
abilities of colonised countries than any other. I'm not talking about the
steam engine or dynamite or penicillin, and I am not talking about power
stations or railway systems. I am talking about individual title to land.

"The piece of paper that ties a certain individual to a certain piece of
land is the bridge between the land and the banking system. It is also the
bridge between the present and the future, and it is the bridge between the
farmer and the best farming ideas the world's research scientists can
generate. That piece of paper turned the piece of land it represented into a
capital asset that could become a device for capital accumulation. And it
turned good farmers into successful business leaders and massive
contributors to society.

"The shallowness of official thinking on farm land today is shown by the
fact that, instead of trying to understand this vitally important concept
and ensuring that it is copied by everyone else, they have chosen instead to
destroy it. You could fill libraries with the accounts of land reforms that
took away individual ownership and ended in failure.

"From collective farming in the USSR and China to Ujamaa in Tanzania and to
Pol Pot's Cambodia, we can trace the great pedigree of this thinking. But it
dates back further than that, in fact back to feudalism under the likes of
Richard III and Peter the Great. "Without any doubt, the programme will
fail. But among the many tragedies that the whole process has caused has
been the destruction of systems and relationships between members of the
commercial farming fraternity.

"Without doubt, we will have to rebuild these systems and without doubt we
will enjoy more success if we focus our attentions today on the real
problems."

At almost the same time as the Minister of Agriculture, Joseph Made made
known the catastrophically apocalyptic policy on land ownership, the
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stan Madenge was participating at an European
Union/Sadc meeting in Mozambique. Instead of using the opportunity to mend
bridges and repair fences with the international community, and thereby
working towards reinstatement of international support for the recovery of
Zimbabwe's economy, he once again abused Britain.

In doing so, he spuriously alleged that all Zimbabwe "wants is justice for
its white farmers". Were this so, Zimbabwe would not repeatedly claim that
every white farmer is entitled to one farm, whilst in practice it deprives
virtually every white farmer of all land that he possessed, or leaves each
farmer a non-economically viable tract of land of inadequate size. If
Zimbabwe genuinely espoused justice for white farmers, it would ensure that
law and order prevails in all rural areas, that white farmers' property and
persons would be protected, and that full and just compensation would be
paid for lands and other assets acquired or destroyed and vandalised by the
unruly tools of government domination. Were it really Zimbabwe's wish for
justice for white farmers, it would have implemented its agrarian reform in
the manner agreed at the 1998 Donor Conference, and as again agreed at
Abuja.

But no, Zimbabwe once again demands that Britain pay all compensation for
seized lands, and that Britain comply with the Abuja agreement. It is fact
that Britain has not met its obligations under that agreement, but it takes
two to tango, and Zimbabwe has not only not implemented the agreement, but
it has cavalierly pursued land policies diametrically opposed to those
agreed at Abuja. Britain, and other concerned nations, have oft-repeated
their willingness to support Zimbabwean land reform, financially and
otherwise, provided that the land reform was pursued on the basis previously
agreed. (And Britain has previously demonstrated the credibility of its
declared willingness to meet agreed obligations. Based upon the
pre-Independence Lancaster House Agreement, Britain paid more than 44
million for land acquisition in the 1980s, over and above much other aid).

Zimbabwe has only to demonstrate unequivocal implementation of the Abuja
Agreement, applied justly and with recompense to the victims of the
non-Abuja based land acquisition programme, and international support will
again be forthcoming. Thereupon, major strides would be taken towards
economic recovery for all Zimbabwe, for agriculture is the foundation upon
which the Zimbabwean economy has been, and should be, based.
Back to the Top
Back to Index